Time-limit on SIM Card registration unrealistic – GFL

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SIM Cards re-registration
SIM Cards re-registration

The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has noted that restricting the SIM Card registration to six months period is counter-productive as it has affected every commercial activity.

“It is unacceptable for people including the elderly to join long queues all day just to register a SIM card. Workers also have to leave the office just to go register. The Process should not be restricted,” Mr. Abraham Koomson, GFL Secretary-General stated at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform.

The GNA-Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom platform serves as a weekly media think-tank platform for state and non-state and commercial operators to communicate to the world on topical issues of national interest.

Mr Koomson called on the National Communication Authority to give about two years’ registration life span to ensure that, “We should also find decent and more dignified ways for the registration instead of forcing people to join long queues in this COVID-19 era”.

The GFL Secretary-General also recommended that Telecos must adopt other progressive ways to capture the data, “SIM Card Registration Officers must be dispatched to workplaces, churches, mosques, and other identifiable centres to undertake the registration”.

“Even though the Ghana Federation of Labour supports the re-registration of SIM Cards to deal with mobile phone fraud, we must undertake it with human touch,” Mr. Koomson noted.

Mr. Koomson though supported the idea of the registration exercise said that, if the people are given much time for the exercise, no one will have an excuse if they end up losing their numbers.

The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) launched the National SIM Card Registration Exercise across the country on October 1, 2021.

According to the Ministry, the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, L.I 2006 mandates network operators or service providers to activate a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) only after the subscriber registers the SIM as directed by the NCA.

Every subscriber is required to provide the name and residential or occupational address, date of birth, in the case of an individual; and Certificate of Incorporation, in the case of a body corporate; or registration.

In the case of a partnership or an unincorporated body of persons; and an identification document.

Only the National Identity Card (Ghana Card) issued to an individual shall be used for registration of SIM cards of Citizens, Foreign Residents and Foreigners staying in Ghana for more than 90 days.

In the case of foreigners staying in Ghana for less than 90 days, a valid passport or other travel document is required.

According to the Ministry of Communication, the SIM registration, when undertaken correctly will reduce or eliminate fraudulent and criminal activities.

It will also help authorities ascertain the accurate number of valid and accurate SIMs on the networks, enable operators to build better demographics of their customer base, and help them develop products and services to suit the various groupings.

According to the Ministry of Communication, NCA will also get more accurate data to regulate the industry even better.

The SIM Registration will enhance economic growth as more confidence is built in the telecommunications sector and people utilize secure devices to access E-Government services and other private mobile-based digital solutions.

“It will minimize mobile money fraud and support financial inclusion across the vulnerable sectors,” the Ministry of Communication revealed.

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